From the very start of my sobriety from weed I have had people questioning why I would quit something so seemingly benign. My answer has always been that for me personally it wasn’t benign. For me it had become more of a hindrance than a help.
I am 100% behind the legalization of marijuana. I am 100% behind its use for medicinal purposes. And I am 100% ok with minding my own damn business when it comes to others who, like I formerly did, use it strictly for recreational purposes.
It seems that when somebody decides to stop using a substance, many others still using that substance take it personally as though they are the ones being left behind. They feel as though they have to defend their current lifestyle to those who no longer live it. Or as in the case of weed, they question why anyone would choose to walk away from it in the first place.
Just because I chose to give up marijuana does not mean I am all of a sudden against it, or those who still use it. Quitting marijuana was strictly a personal decision. A decision that I felt was in my best interest. A decision that for me has led to many good things.
Just in these past 6 months I have awakened to several insights into my own psyche that I had not realized in the 21 years of my limited cognitive functions due to the effects of marijuana. Mental clarity was one of the first recognizable rewards after quitting.
Along with my newfound clarity, came better judgment. I don’t care how benign you think marijuana is, it absolutely clouds your judgment. Like any other substance, it lowers your inhibitions allowing you to easily act on impulses rather than thinking things through at a rational level.
I’m not talking about necessarily taking on more responsibility, rather finally owning up to the ones I’d been denying for years! As an addict I found it much easier to look outward and find blame than I did to look inward for answers. Not to mention the fact that I acted out irresponsibly every time I smoked before or during driving. Every time I put weed before being a Mom. Every time I got high before going to work. Every time getting high was more important than anything else.
More money for more important things
There is no denying that marijuana is an expensive addiction. I had a medical card so I went to a dispensary. I was also given it from time to time. I never personally grew it because A) I have children living in my home, and B) I can’t even keep house plants alive! Of course when you’re an addict, you can’t not have your drug of choice available at all times. For me that meant spending between $50 and $100 bucks most months! So now I have that money for other things that are more beneficial to my life and my family’s life as well.
Because of my improved judgment and taking responsibility for my actions, I have learned to better communicate with the people in my life. I am more direct, yet less confrontational. I am also less passive aggressive. It doesn’t matter whether your addiction is marijuana or heroin. They are used for the same reason. To escape. To avoid. To numb. To feel good. When you are an addict your life revolves around your addiction. Getting that next high is all that matters. This leaves little room to nurture your relationships with others. Addiction ruins relationships. Sobriety brings them back to life!
I have always suffered from a lot of anxiety. When I suffered from an anxiety attack nothing brought me down quicker than a few hits of weed. But when out in public nothing amplified my social anxiety like being high did. Now breathing exercises and meditation help ease my anxiety attacks. And though I still live with social anxiety, being sober in social situations eliminates the paranoia that people are judging me for being high. I am 100% myself, and don’t feel like I have to hide out all the time because of my addiction.
Motivation has never been one of my strongpoints, and it’s no secret that marijuana isn’t much help in that department. While quitting weed didn’t magically give me the drive of an Olympic athlete, it certainly helps by no longer depleting the motivation I do have.
No longer worrying about passing pre-employment drug tests
I have been self employed for a while now. Before that I worked for many companies and corporations that required drug testing prior to being hired. Somehow I always managed to squeak by whether it be because I did a detox kit, they didn’t test for marijuana, or as in my last job as a caregiver they accepted a medical marijuana license. Now when I peruse the help wanted ads, it is very freeing having the awareness that I can apply for any job listed without worry of potentially testing positive for marijuana.
No more munchies
Living with an eating disorder makes my choices around food extremely difficult. As with many addicts, I have cross addictions. One of them being food. Junk food to be exact. The food that isn’t really food, but a mix of highly addictive chemicals and poisons that tastes good while causing us a slow death riddled with chronic diseases. Man-made processed garbage is also what makes up the majority of the munchies consumed by pot heads. By not smoking pot anymore, I have less food binges due to the munchies. Every little bit helps.
Building solid friendships
I go to MA meetings most weeks. I work the steps, and I have an amazing sponsor! My sponsor is not just my sponsor but one of my best friends as well! She is somebody that knows exactly what I am going through because she too has gone through it herself. She has opened her heart to me to be there as my guide, and to offer unconditional love when I need it the most. She encourages me, cheers me on, and holds me accountable for my actions. I couldn’t have come this far without the support of the MA fellowship, or my awesome sponsor guiding me through the steps of sobriety.
As you can see, I have experienced some amazing life changing benefits from quitting marijuana. The benefits I discussed above far outweigh the benefits of continuing to smoke it. At least for me they do. I can’t speak for, or judge anyone else’s choices. I still get cravings and miss it from time to time. That is when I remind myself of how far I’ve come and where I want to be. As long as I continue to stay humble, work the steps, go to meetings and meet with my sponsor I have zero doubt that I will stay sober and continue to experience all the good things from a life free of marijuana!